Designing a Base Town

From OSE SRD

1. Determine Size

Decide how large the base town is and roughly how many inhabitants it has. The size of settlements generally depends on the level of technology available in the setting. For medieval or similar settings, the following may be used as a guide:


Town Size Inhabitants
Village 50–999
Small Town 1,000–4,999
Large Town 5,000–14,999
City 15,000+

2. Note Services

Make some notes on the presence of the following services that adventurers may require:

  • Black market: For selling treasure and contacting thieves or smugglers.
  • Guard: A town militia or police force to keep the peace and protect the town. It may be useful to note whether the guards are open to bribery and how frequently they patrol various areas of the town.
  • Healing: Some means for characters to cure their wounds (and possibly more advanced services such as curing diseases or even raising the dead). In settings where magical healing exists, such services may be available at a temple, church, or shrine.
  • Lodgings: Rooms to rent, inns, etc.
  • Rumours: Places where notices are posted and gossip spreads.

3. Detail Ruler

Decide how the town is ruled: whether by a local sheriff or mayor appointed by a lord, an elected council, a confederacy of merchants, etc. It is also possible that a high-level NPC adventurer (with attendant guards and magic) may rule the town.

4. Detail Other NPCs

Other important NPCs in the town should be noted, especially those associated with one of the services mentioned above or those who might wish to hire the PCs to undertake missions.

5. Create Rumours

A few local rumours may be noted, to provide hooks for the player characters to start exploring the local area and possibly find their way to one of the placed dungeons.